2011 will be a memorable year for the Siyakhula Living Lab. Through the support of Saab South Africa and its subsidiary Saab Grintek Technologies, the Siyakhula Living Lab is embarking on a major and exciting expansion of its telecommunications network infrastructure within the rural Mbashe Municipality of the Eastern Cape.This expansion includes the addition of a mobile WiMAX basestation and a redundant backhaul VSAT connection to the already existing fixed WiMAX/WiFi/VSAT network.
(article by Sarah-Jane Bradfield and extracted from Rhodes website)
The third annual Living Labs in Southern Africa (LLiSA) was hosted by the Siyakhula Living Lab at Rhodes last week. The workshop, which was sponsored by SAFIPA as part of its work to promote a knowledge society in Southern Africa, attracted delegates from around the country including North-West University, University of Zululand, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, University of Fort Hare, Meraka LimDev (Limpopo Living Lab), RLabs (Reconstructed Labs, Cape Town), East London Industrial Development Zone and SAP Research.
The IST Africa 2011 Conference and Exhibition was held from the 11th to the 13th of May 2011 at the Gaborone International Conference Centre in Botswana. This year’s conference, which was the sixth of its Annual Conference series, focused on bridging the Digital Divide by providing a platform to share knowledge, experience, lessons learnt and good practice and discuss policy related issues.
Just more than a year and a half ago, a 24 minute documentary entitled ‘Pinky and the Computers’ was recorded for a tv series called ‘For the Edge’. This documentary captured our work in the Siyakhula Living Lab at the time and in particular, the impact the project had made to one young lady by the name Priscilla Neziswa ‘Pinky’ Mcinga. Of course at this point the details are a bit out of date, so the documentary is rather a reflection of a period in time ;-)
Article title : Crossing the digital frontier - Plugging rural South Africa into the internet
(extracted from The African Times, June/July 2011 issue)
Popular and prominent German weekly newspaper, featured the following article entitled ‘Der lange Weg ins Netz’ written by free lance journalist, Dietrich von Richthofen about the Siyakhula Living Lab and Reed House Systems. The English translation of the article was also featured in the June/July 2011 issue of The African Times.
Book Chapter Abstract
Rural development and poverty alleviation are a priority for development in South Africa. Information and knowledge are key strategic resources for social and economic development, as they empower rural communities with the ability to expand their choices through knowing what works best in their communities. Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) act as tools which enable existing rural development activities. The Siyakhula living lab (SLL) aims to develop and field-test a distributed, multifunctional community communication platform, using localization through innovation, to deploy in marginalized communities in South Africa.
From the 4th of April 2011, Mr Nobert Rangarirai Jere, a Fort Hare Telkom Centre of Excellence researcher will be visiting the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Aalto University, in Finland, for a 1 month PhD exchange.
The SA Innovation Network (SAINe) hosted the ‘Keeping the COFISA Communities Alive’ conference on the 23rd of March 2011, at the Development Bank of Southern Africa’s Vulindlela Centre in Midrand. The event was a platform for the five communities that were initiated from the COFISA pilot programme to share their work and experiences. COFISA was launched in September 2006 and was officially closed on the 28th of February 2010.